Vegas a Month Later of the Shooting Through a Tourist’s Lens

Has Las Vegas returned to it’s normal state? Are there traces of the tragedy? A personal account from a tourist in Las Vegas.

What stood out the most when initially visiting the strip in Las Vegas were the posters that had, “Vegas Strong” plastered everywhere. Billboards, hotels, cars, shirts, every surface possible had these two words printed on them. The depth of this phrase can only be captured when hearing the countless tragic stories that have been publicized throughout this past month. At a quick glance, nothing seemed different in the lively city, although if you look more closely you could find traces of both pain and endurance everywhere.

It felt disrespectful to enjoy the excitement and festivities of the city and not experience the scene which has brought so much pain to our country so recently. With “Vegas Strong” covering the city, multiple memorials have quickly been formed  to honor those who had been lost. Not intending to specifically visit a memorial, I stumbled upon one outside the entrance of Mandalay Bay, the notorious hotel. It was one of the most powerful scenes to encounter. Candles, crosses and pictures among other personal items resembled real people, real lives and real stories which will never be finished. 

Keeping my distance, I continued to walk past the vast hotel entrance, opposite from where the crowd stood on the night of Oct. 1. Just past the strip, the city that never sleeps was eerily silent. With few hotel stayers walking in and out, passing by quickly, there was not a word to be heard. The concert venue itself was completely closed off, with a few patrol cars on either entrance. 

After reading countless stories on the event, as well as watching live coverage on television, being in the exact location where the shootings took place was a feeling which I had never experienced before. The pain and terror that took place Oct. 1 in Las Vegas still lingered. This tragic event should never be forgotten, and for all who visit Las Vegas in the future, it should be a place of remembrance and respect. 

Mass shooting sites around the United States, such as Virginia Tech and Pulse nightclub in Orlando have been repurposed. Virginia Tech has formed a Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention in order to counter the violence which took place. Pulse has plans to form a memorial and is currently collecting funds for the effort, according to CNN.

I believe that anything forming the silent, destitute area into something constructive in remembrance of those who were lost would benefit the community of Las Vegas greatly.